SketchUp: Drawing Torus, Spheres and Ellipses

Drawing Spheres, Torus and Ellipses is quite easy. There are some plugins though that make it even easier.
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Some basic shapes like a Sphere, a Torus or an Ellipse are not included in the default tools in SketchUp. They all can be done quite easy without the need of a Plugin, but of course anything that speeds up the modleing process is more than welcome.

Here you can see a quick video showing how to model a Sphere, a Torus and an Ellipse in SketchUp with the standard tools.

As you can see, it is a pretty simple process. Still, some of you might want to have these tools directly accessible on the Draw menu. For this, Regular Polygon has created several Plugins, simply click on the links below to access the Plugin website and to download them.
They also have two plugins called Superellipse and Supperellipsoid (Sort of rectangle with rounded edges, or cube with rounded edges) for this one I don't see a some way to draw it easily with the standard tools, so here comes the link to the two of them.

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My Parents House in SketchUp

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Long ago I modeled my parents house in SketchUp. I used this building to learn basic and not so basic modeling technics. No one would call the building an architectural masterpiece, but its a bit illogical and random architecture made it a good bulilding to learn SketchUp (and other programs too).

I already used this same model long ago when posting about the SketchUp Web Exporter (unfortunately now the post is not working properly because of the transition from google pages to google sites)

So here come some screenshots of the building.

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SketchUp Plugins: Soft Selection Plugin

Add vertexes and perform Soft selection operations in SketchUp
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Thomthom has a very interesting plugin called Vertex Tools to perform Soft selection of vertex. It is not free (it costs $20) but if you need to perform this sort of operation it will be worth paying for it.
On a previous post about Rhino, I already explained what soft selection is and what we use it for. Below you can see a video explaining the functionality of the Vertex tools Plugin.

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SketchUp: Free Ruby Programming E-Books

Five free ebooks to learn to program in Ruby Language.
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SketchUp plugins use the Ruby programming language. There is plenty of ruby programmers out there doing a great job creating SketchUp Plugins to improve the functionality of SketchUp. If you have an idea of a Plugin that could be useful but you don't know ow to program in Ruby this post might be for you.

This is a list of 5 free ebooks to learn about the Ruby programming language.
I strongly believe we can all make technology better from a collaborative approach. Users are the ones who have the capacity to know what they really need and to create those products/applications that serve them better. It is a change in the traditional paradigm were big corporations were the only ones creating products for the end user. Nowadays, the user has the power and more importantly the knowledge to assess what is needed. The Google approach to let users create Plugins easily for SketchUp embraces this principle.

So now we have no excuse. If you think you need a Plugin that is not out there, get your hands on this free guides and start programming. The entire SketchUp community will thank you!

via citizen 428.

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Design Review Programs

See two options to digitally review your drawings
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The two following videos show how o do basic design review operations with two programs. The first shows the operations done in Adobe Acrobat Pro, the second, the same done in Autodesk Design Review. This is part of my research to create a Quality Assurance system using big format touch screen and a Design review Software.

As you can see, with both software packages the same can be achieved. So probably the 642€ per license for Acrobat Pro are not worth paying if the only thing you need is to do this type of operations. Autodesk Design Review is a free application. it can be downloaded here.

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AutoCAD: Create a Field Displaying the Layout Tab Name

This trick can be useful for several purposes. I needed it to standardize a Titleblock.
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Fields are very useful to standardise blocks, titleblocks, etc but still allow certain properties of an object to change. In a previous post, we saw how to use fields to display properties of a dynamic block. Today, I wanna show you how to use a field on a titleblock to show the Layout Tab name.
We need of course to have a tittleblock we want to use, then we will insert a text, dtext or mtext with the "fixed" part of the text of the titleblock. For the aprt we want to show the Layout Tab Name, we need to insert a field.
To do that, you can either righclick inside the text area and select Insert Field, or you can use the FIELD command directly. Once you insert the Field, you will be prompted to select the variable the Field will show. Here is where you need to take note.

Select "System Variable" in the Field Name Column. Then Select "ctab" on the System Variable column. And then finally specify on the right the format of the text. See Below.

That's it. now if you rename the Layout Tab, the field will change accordingly.

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Free Video Screen Capture Software

A utility to capture videos from what you do on your computer.
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I needed some free software to capture some video of my screen and I found this software called CamStudio. It is extremly easy to use and has some nice features. It is not perfect, but it worked out well for me. I've been using to create some of the videos you have seen posted here in CAD-Addict, although some or most are post edited with Adobe Premiere.
You can download it for free here.
I did a quick capture from google earth to check if it worked, this is the result.

Most of the others I found are either only free for 30 days or you have to pay for them right away, so this one is worth the first try.

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Stuttgart and Berlin in 3D

Stuttgart and Berlin have been added to the collection of 3D cities in Google earth
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Some months ago I posted about my hometown Barcelona being included in the list of 3D cities in Google Earth. Since I've been living in Stuttgart for the past 9 months, I though I'd just mention about this too.

Stuttgart (and Berlin) is now available in 3D in Google Earth. See the video below to get a glimpse of these two cities.

So for those who are curious about discovering new places, here you have a breif overview.

via Official Google SketchUp Blog.

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CAD Addict is busy

I am not dead
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Working, studying and trying to follow a World Cup. Last month has been crazy, you've seen the low amount of posts. Hope to get back soon here as soon as I get things a bit in order.
By the way. CAD Addict has reached 300 posts. I really never though when i started writing those little notes about a command or two I had learned that it would reach here.
Soon more, thanks for reading!

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AutoCAD 2010 and 2011: Recover the menus (no menus defined error)

Recover the menus in ACA 2011 (and 2010)
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New version of AutoCAD Architecture in the office installed, and again problems with the menus, ribbon, etc. I can't say it enough times, but Ribbon is a useless tool for many of us who worked in AutoCAD for long time. But Autodesk keeps pushing it and pushing it to see if we swallow. Luckily someone is still there to rescue us.

The latest attempt to force the use of the ribbon is to not include the cui files needed to load the menus. This I have seen happening recently in a AutoCAD Architecture 2011 installation at work. On previous versions, you could recover the menus and ditch the ribbon relatively easy.

As I said, luckily there is someone there to help us. If you have the same problem, go to this link.

I already posted about this topic recently, but any way, I was so pissed with this that I wanted to do it again. The previous link basically explains the following:
  • Run the Command: RIBBONCLOSE
  • Set teh System variable MENUBAR to 1
  • If you get the message "no menus defined" download this file
  • Copy the contents to your support folder (Win XP C:\Documents and Settings\USER NAME\Application Data\Autodesk\ACA 201X\enu\Support)
  • Run the CUI command and load the partial CUIs you need (ACA_Main.cuix is the one to start with)

Problem solved! Thanks Autodesk for making so many people waste so much time...

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Book of the Month: SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization

Learn How to get the most out of SketchUp and other free tools to achieve professional quality renderings and visualizations
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June's Book of the month goes back to th previous trend of Software related books. A few weeks ago I got a copy of this great book. "SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization. Beginners Guide" and with the brief time I had to review it I can strongly recommend it.

The book is excellent for those aiming to produce architectural visualizations without willing to spend thousands in software or training lessons. From the very beginning the book states one of its main motivs "if it is not free don't waste your time with it". Following this statement the books shows you how to work smarter using free tools like SketchUp for modeling, Kerkythea for rendering and Gimp for image processing to mention just the most relevant.

To get a copy for yourself click on any of the images below to visit the publisher's site or to buy it directly on amazon.

or or

You can also take a look to a sample chapter that is available online

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BIM and SketchUp?

Could it be? Could SketchUp be the way to have 100% open stadnard BIM?
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The friends at SketchUp Ireland Blog think so and have posted an interesting list of reasons of why Google is the best placed company to help create a true Open Standard for BIM.

Check them out here.

I think this is an interesting discussion. Not only from the open standards point of viw, but also towards spreading BIM to the 99,9% of offices. SketchUp is so easy to use, that if made 100% BIM capable it would turn the transition to BIM into a matter of few months.

Of course you might argue that if SketchUp was 100% BIM capable it would be so easy to use. But let me answer that Google has surpised us before with brilliant and unexpected apps, so if they want they can do this too. Go GOOGLE!!

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